We know that proving the value of SEO can be a challenge, and this especially true when it comes to link building. Our link building specialist, Tilly, has outlined the challenges that come with link building and how we can overcome them to show the value of links to stakeholders.
The challenge with links
The core barrier that marketers have when proving the value of link building is that links aren’t tangible.
From my perspective they’re still an incredibly important part of a well-rounded SEO strategy, but they’re also not as easy to prove in terms of value as you are not physically making a change to your site which can be seen.
Compared to PPC, and even technical SEO, the impact of link building can be harder to visualise as the changes aren’t visible and take some time to provide results.
Is link building still important?
As an eCommerce SEO agency and growth partner, Infinity Nation works with businesses in a range of industries that want to see website growth and increased online revenue.
We know that through building links, and pairing this with strong technical SEO, that we can improve the authority of a site. This in turn leads to improved rankings, which leads to increased traffic, which then leads to increased revenue.
Links are still considered one of the most important ranking factors because when used correctly they can show trustworthiness, show expertise, and help with overall site authority.
In my mind, link building should be included as part of a well-rounded SEO strategy for full impact.
How can we prove the value of links?
As SEOs it’s our responsibility to show clients the value of links, making it clear what we aim to achieve from link building and highlighting the results of link building efforts.
But how do we do this?
Well, with the help of some tools and by following some key steps it is actually quite simple to show value to support with getting buy in.
- Understand the starting point
At Infinity Nation we will always start any link building work by doing a full audit to understand how the site is currently performing so that we can use this to inform the link building strategy.
By using Ahrefs and SEMrush we can review the current backlink profile of a site, and review the metrics of individual pages, so that we can get a better picture of what tactics will be best and how many links we need to build to start getting results.
This step is essential for us for benchmarking against ongoing work.
- Understand what competitors are doing
The competitors above you in the SERPs are essential. These sites are the blueprint because they are already ranking and have been successful in obtaining good positions on Google or other search engines.
Understanding what competitors are doing, such as which tactics they are using or what anchor text profile they have, can help to inform link building strategy and will give a better indication of what needs to be done.
For every client we work with, we conduct a link deficit analysis. This highlights the gap between a client and their competitor in terms of site metrics, the total number of backlinks pointing to a site and the number ofreferring domains.
We then use this report as a benchmark for how many links we need to build in order to match competing sites.
- Track and monitor any links that are built
We input any links we build as an annotation on GA4, so that we can see when a link has gone live and understand the impact.
This lets us see a correlation between notable increases of specific metrics and links that went live which may have contributed to this.
By monitoring your links this way, you are saving time having to look back through spreadsheets to determine when different links went live and can instead see the data in a more effective and useful way.
- Ensure links are part of the reporting process
Now, this may seem obvious, but links are often grouped under SEO and are not reported on individually.
Yet reporting on links is a crucial part of showing value and emphasising the impact that link building has on overall performance and can help to get wider buy in from stakeholders.
When paired with link monitoring it helps us to highlight any increases in metrics, traffic, and revenue that the brand has had and how the links built have likely impacted this.
When reporting on links built, we report on the core metrics of the linking site but also highlight other key factors such as the relevancy of that site to the client site. We are always transparent, and only build links that we are proud of and would be happy for our client to see.
Most importantly, for somebody to buy in to something they first must understand it.
Our aim is to support clients with educating stakeholders on SEO and link building to help them understand where links fit into a solid SEO strategy. This is done either through solid reporting of link building activity, or through training sessions to share knowledge.
If you would like to know more about link building, or need support, please get in touch with our team at Infinity Nation today.
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